June is Adopt-A-Cat Month

The American Humane Association urges adoption of tabbies in shelters.

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Seventy percent of the cats that end up in animal shelters across the United States must be euthanized because they were unable to be placed in homes, according to the American Humane Association.

To combat this, the Humane Association is sponsoring Adopt-A-Cat Month in June urging people to celebrate by visiting animal shelters where dozens of cats and kittens wait for loving families.

Adopt-A-Cat Month is a national effort to help animal shelters find homes for the numerous cats that inundate the countrys shelters each summer. The event encourages potential adopters to visit their local animal welfare organization when looking for a pet.

Families should consider the following when choosing to adopt a cat, according to the Humane Association:

Age: While the playful antics of kittens are hard to resist, adult cats are often better suited to families with young children. Mature cats respond better to the clumsy handling of inquisitive toddlers. The ultimate choice when considering the best age of a feline for you is whether your household is ready for a grown-up cat that can turn on occasional playfulness, or the constant playfulness of  kittens...

Number: If you're thinking about adding another cat to your feline fold, its important to consider the facts about a multi-cat household, including feeding, multiple litterboxes, and most important, whether the cats will get along. Ask your local shelter for tips on how to introduce a new cat or kitten to your family of pets so the transition is easy for everyone.

Personality: Be aware that many cats are under a great deal of stress in the shelter environment. A cats true personality may not come out until he has been in his new home for several weeks. Visit the cat you're interested in several times and read any information available from a previous owner. Generally, kittens should be active and enjoy being handled. And shy cats are best suited to quiet households.

Coat: Decide if you want a long-, medium- or short-haired cat. The longer the coat, the more brushing that is needed to prevent painful matting.

Nutrition and Health: A veterinarian should examine your cat at least once a year. Keep your cat indoors to prevent her from getting into accidents or fights with other cats. Check your cat for fleas, and make sure the litterbox is clean and odor-free. Also, set aside time every day to play with your cat.

The Humane Association also recommends that cat owners make sure their pets are spayed or neutered and equipped with an ID tag.

Posted: June 1, 2006, 5:00 a.m. EST

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